Household consumption nearly 2 percent up in May

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 1.9 percent up in May 2018 over May 2017. The growth rate was less substantial than in the three previous months. In May 2018, consumers spent mainly more on food, beverages and tobacco and on services.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption in July are, on balance, about as favourable as in May.

Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping days) (year-on-year % change)
2014 J0
2014 J0.3
2014 A1.5
2014 S-0.5
2014 O0.3
2014 N0.7
2014 D0.6
2015 J2
2015 F2
2015 M2.1
2015 A1.7
2015 M1.3
2015 J2.3
2015 J1.5
2015 A1.4
2015 S2.2
2015 O1.7
2015 N0.8
2015 D0.8
2016 J0.7
2016 F0.4
2016 M1.1
2016 A0.4
2016 M1.9
2016 J0.7
2016 J2.4
2016 A1.5
2016 S1.1
2016 O2.6
2016 N2.8
2016 D2.5
2017 J3.4
2017 F1.5
2017 M1.7
2017 A2.6
2017 M2.5
2017 J2.3
2017 J2.2
2017 A1.9
2017 S2.6
2017 O1.8
2017 N2.4
2017 D1.3
2018 J1.7
2018 F2.9
2018 M3
2018 A2.9
2018 M1.9

Dutch households spend more on food and services

In May 2018, spending on food, beverages and tobacco was nearly 3 percent up year-on-year. Consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by over 2 percent. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

Spending on durable goods, such as clothing, shoes and cars, was 1 percent up compared to May 2017. This growth rate was smaller than in April (nearly 8 percent). In May, consumption of natural gas was lower than in the same month in 2017, just like in April.

Last week, CBS already reported that retail turnover was over 3 percent up in May year-on-year. The volume of sales also increased by over 3 percent. This number was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping days), May 2018 (year-on-year % change)
Food,drinks and tobacco2.8
Durable consumer goods1.1
Other goods (e.g. gas)-0.6

Consumer climate in July as favourable as in May

CBS publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption on a monthly basis in the CBS Consumption Radar. Household consumption is affected by consumers’ expectations, their personal financial situation and developments on the labour market. Although the Radar indicators show a strong correlation with household consumption, improved circumstances are not necessarily translated into increased growth.

According to the CBS Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption in July are more or less as favourable as in May. Manufacturers’ opinions on future employment in their sector deteriorated. On the other hand, the rise in share prices and the growth of the employed labour force were larger.

The figures presented in this news release are provisional and can be adjusted.


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